Wednesday, October 13, 2010

U.S. States, Cities Seek Voter Approval for $17 Billion of Debt

States and municipalities across the country are asking voters to approve $16.8 billion in bonds this upcoming election on November 2nd. According to Business, this represents the lowest amount during a congressional year general election since 1996. Check out a snippet of their story below.

U.S. states and municipalities from Maryland to Alaska will ask voters to approve $16.8 billion in bonds Nov. 2, the lowest general-election amount in a congressional year since 1996, Ipreo Holdings LLC data show.

Lawmakers in Alaska seek to issue $997 million of bonds, the most of any ballot question this year, to fund mortgages for veterans, while voters in Washington state will consider $505 million for energy projects at schools, according to New York- based Ipreo, a market-research company. Issuers asked for authority to borrow almost $67 billion in the general election two years ago and $79 billion in 2006, the largest amounts since 1946, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

In 1996, voters considered $16.6 billion in bonding authorizations, Thomson Reuters data show. General-election ballots typically contain more debt in even years, when congressional elections are held, than in odd-numbered ones. In 2009, governments sought approval for $9.8 billion.

“The public is getting nervous about all the debt being accumulated in this country,” said John Matsusaka, president of the Initiative & Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “The appetite has been diminished.”

The $67 billion sought two years ago was driven by California, which isn’t putting any statewide bond questions before voters on Nov. 2.

Continue reading at Business…

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